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MC-Smithsonian Faculty Fellowships

MC-Smithsonian Faculty Fellowships


The Fellowships are the product of a unique collaboration between Montgomery College and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital access—the first of its kind between the Smithsonian Institution and a community college. The MC-Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship Program is the signature program of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute at Montgomery College.

The program is interdisciplinary and open to faculty from all three campuses. The Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship program is a year-long commitment and is considered a part of your workload assignment; it is open to both full-time and part-time faculty. Fellows are awarded three ESH per semester, a total of six ESH for their work and participation. The Fellowship program has created new pathways for teaching and learning at Montgomery College since 1998. One former Fellow recently told us the program was for her “an innovative experience for both the fellows and their students!  Education in its richest sense.”

Smithsonian Faculty Fellowships
2021 Smithsonian Faculty Fellowships
Facing the Complex, Multiple Challenges of the 21st Century
Due Date: October 12, 2020 by 5 p.m.

We are excited to announce our 2021 theme, “Facing the Complex, Multiple Challenges of the 21st Century”, one which offers opportunities for all disciplines. Participating faculty will learn how to teach with objects and museums, create engaging new lessons and assignments that support core content and will be integrated with live or virtual field trips to Smithsonian Institution museums. You will experiment with time-tested as well as novel pedagogical approaches to help Montgomery College students formulate their own questions, generate knowledge and develop more sophisticated approaches to problem-solving.

Our 2021 Smithsonian Faculty Fellows will have the opportunity to investigate one of the complex,  and intertwined challenges we are facing including  a global pandemic caused by Covid-19, climate change and environmental justice inequalities, structural racism,  or economic, environmental and political dislocations . Interested? Read more about 2021 Theme - Facing the Complex, Multiple Challenges of the 21st Century (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)


Application Process

Part 1: Expression of Interest

Thinking about applying? Want to know more? Complete the brief expression of interest form by September 14, 2020. While this does not obligate you to apply, it allows us to provide additional information as you work on ideas for application. 

Expression of Interest Form

Part 2: Formal Application

This is your chance to tell us how you and your students would benefit from the Fellowship experience!
Applications due no later than 5 pm on October 12, 2020.

SFF Application Form


The Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship program is a year-long commitment and is considered a part of your work load assignment. Fellows are awarded three ESH per semester, a total of six ESH for their work.

In the spring semester, Fellows attend meetings every Thursday. These include, for example, regular business meetings at Rockville campus, the Showcase presentation at Rockville, and trips to Smithsonian museums and sites, including a panel discussion and the annual reception (typically held at the Smithsonian Castle).

In the summer there are no formal meetings scheduled. Fellows work independently to visit museums, collect information and refine plans for their fall course implementation.

In the fall semester, Fellows attend weekly business meetings at the Rockville campus, implement their Smithsonian project (lesson plan and museum visit) with their class, and develop materials to share with their cohort and colleagues. Fellows are a cohort of learners who share responsibility for developing the theme and applying it to the Smithsonian experience. During the year Fellows support one another, participate in exercises, share teaching resources and techniques and share leadership roles. Former Fellows report that the cohort learning environment offered by the Fellowship is remarkably rewarding!

All meetings take place on Thursday afternoons, and Fellows must plan their schedules (and allow time for travel) so that they are present at meetings (College or Smithsonian) which begin promptly at 2:00 pm. This is non-negotiable; do not accept work that will interfere with your full participation. Adjustments to virtual meetings will occur as conditions require. All meetings can be shifted to a virtual environment if necessary, but please know the Fellowship will continue.

Work products developed over the year include, for example: development of a course syllabus that includes the Smithsonian lesson plan and museum visit; one or more newly designed assignments related to the lesson plan; staying current with assigned readings and tasks; developing discussion topics; writing blog post based on Fellow's museum experience with students, and preparing a final written report summarizing the Fellow’s project implementation (about 500 words), and participation in a variety of assessment activities.  Additionally, all Fellows deliver a presentation of their final report at the Smithsonian Faculty Fellows’ Showcase event (typically held in February on the Rockville campus). The Showcase event will be videotaped by MCTV and will later become available on

PPHI welcomes applications from part-time faculty, with these stipulations.  Part-time faculty who apply must have taught for Montgomery College for four academic semesters before applying AND they must have taught the course into which the Fellowship will be integrated for at least two semesters.

IMPORTANT: Part-time faculty applications must also include a Letter of Recommendation from their department chair. [Such a letter is not required by full time faculty.]

We encourage all prospective applicants to reach to us for help.  Professor Mimi Mann (English, RV) is the Coordinator for the Montgomery College Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship. She is glad to offer guidance on writing your proposal and assembling your application package; it can really help! Reach to Mimi early in the process but at least two-three weeks BEFORE the deadline she can give you pointers on refining your approach and polishing your draft.

  1. The proposal expresses a vision of how the Fellowship theme relates to the course 
  2. The proposal expresses a vision of how the Smithsonian experience will be implemented in the course including identifying potential artifacts, exhibits or Smithsonian museums that support the proposal 
  3. The proposal demonstrates a willingness to be open to an innovative pedagogical response to the Fellowship 
  4. Applicant has demonstrated contributions and/or leadership to the College community (this can be discipline, campus or college wide) 
  5. The proposal is articulate, coherent and persuasive 
  6. This person is likely to contribute positively to the community of Fellows 



Here are two mores ways to learn about the Fellowship!


Our blog chronicles Museum Seminars beginning with out 2016 cohort, as well as Fellows' accounts of trips to the museums with students  beginning in 2019.


Please consider viewing one or more of the video recordings of MC-Smithsonian Faculty Fellows presenting their final projects at our annual “Showcase” events.

We started recording these with the 2010 Cohort, and there are now nearly 100 videos with a combined viewing of over 15,000 views on YouTube. Many of these are interdisciplinary in nature, so don’t limit yourself to watching only those in your discipline!

Faculty Showcase

Under Construction. While waiting, go to youtubenew window and search for Montgomery College-Smithsonian Faculty Fellows!